Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's Just Like A Year In Provence

A few summers ago while visiting my parents in Ontario, they introduced me to the mini-series A Year In Provence, based on the autobiographical book by Peter Mayle. The reason I mention this is that now that the euphoria of buying a new house wears off and reality sets in, all the little quirks we are finding with the new place remind me of this couple's experiences with their place. Admittedly, we don't have to deal with the mistral winds mentioned in the book. There is no annoying morning rooster (though the dog makes a pretty good stand in at times) and there are very few people French people engaged in long-winded conversations but as with any new place, there are a few quirks that need attending to.

The biggest eyesore has to be the upstairs bathroom. The house was built in 1980 and I swear it still has the original linoleum floor. Now, I will admit I will never be accused of being up to date on fashion but this floor has got to be the absolute ugliest thing I've ever laid eyes on. The other thing about this bathroom floor is that it squeaks.....a lot. It is impossible to make a nocturnal bathroom trip and stay quiet. The water coming out of the shower also doesn't stay warm for very long too for some reason. Hmm....methinks there might be gremlins lurking in the pipes or in the walls somewhere. The bathroom can also be accessed through the master bedroom where there are a couple "his and her' closets. The plan is to eventually take out the existing wall between the bathroom and the closets and enlarge the room and update all the bathroom fixtures. For the time being we do our best to tread lightly on the floor and not look down at it.

The deck out back is quite nice (or at least it would be if it wasn't for all the snow on top of it at the moment). Apparently, the idiot that built the thing a couple years ago unhooked the A/C unit and never bothered hooking it back up when he was finished his job. Not that it matters at the moment with all that snow on the ground but still....

We replaced the refrigerator, stove and dish washer with brand spanking new ones and even managed to get a few bucks from selling the fridge and stove. The kitchen tap is another thing. It was old and leaking and we had a plumber take it off, though we haven't quite gotten around to replacing it yet. Using the kitchen sink has turned into a bit of a delicate ballet now. I don't know how many times I've turned the thing on, and in a moment of inattention managed to shoot a giant stream of water all over the floor.

Lisa managed to find the fancy type of light bulbs that we needed for the downstairs rec room to replace that ones that needed to be replacing. We also had to buy a bunch of child-proof covers for the electrical outlets for when the daycare gets up and running. For the most part, I had no problem putting these on but in the living room I couldn't get any of the covers to fit because the bottoms of the sockets extended below the top of the baseboard and the new coverings were just a little too wide to fit into the notches cut into the baseboard.

We had our phone hooked up and ready to go with a new number and arrived expecting to have service only to hook up our phone and discover we have no dial tone. I was finally able to get in touch with the phone company earlier this evening. For blogging purposes I'll refer to this company as TELUS. Now, apparently, the problem is with the phone jacks but who knows. We had the exact same problem last August when we moved into our house in Janvier and it took several weeks before we finally got that mess straightened out. I find it funny that we should have the exact same problem twice in a row. Maybe telecommunications devices just have it out for me. Yeah, that must be it.

And of course, as I mentioned in my last post, Mother Nature wreaked havoc on our poor tree in our backyard. I'll likely have to hack off a couple branches (Darcy in a tree with a hack saw...that should be fun) but I'm confident the poor thing will pull through. This picture is from a couple weeks back, before the big storm and while it doesn't look like that much now, we've been told it's full of colour when it blooms.

And, since I'm on the topic of trees, I've been wracking my brain as of late trying to figure out the type of species a couple of trees on our property might be. if anyone can tell me what time of tree this is in the photo below I would be very grateful. They grace our front walkway and produce these small red berries and add a wonderful charm to the house.

I'm also curious to know what type of tree this big bushy fellow next to the "sold" sign is.

Oh yes. How could I forget about the birch tree in the above photo right along the property line. It's only really half of a birch tree. Lisa told me that a neighbor had told her that a couple of years ago the poor thing had been struck by lightening so there isn't much left of it now. So, in keeping with the idea that we've discovered many quirky things about our new house, apparently it is also a magnet for lightening strikes. Wonderful. Good thing lightening never strikes the same place twice. Hmm, maybe I'll just avoid that tree for now.


Meandering Michael said...

The big ones look like mountain ash. Big, ol' mountain ash.

The bushy one looks like it might be a honeysuckle. It could also be some sort of insane lilac bush. Hard to tell without seeing it up close.

Way Way Up said...

I thought the one might be an ash tree but the shape of the leaves didn't look quite right to me. As for the big bush, I'm still not really sure, although it does a fantastic job of hiding a utility box. I never even noticed the box in their until about our third viewing of the house.

Nancy said...

My guess was mountain ash too, but it's hard to see the leaves in your photo.

Your hot water tank probably needs replacing, that's why you get so little hot water when showering.